Loan debt | 

Mortgage company seeks to prevent child rapist from getting six-figure insurance pay out

Several years before being jailed the man obtained a mortgage for over €265k. A year later that property was destroyed following a fire
Stock photo

Stock photo

Aodhan O'FaolainSunday World

A mortgage company has secured a temporary High Court order allowing it to appoint a receiver over an estimated six figure insurance pay-out to a convicted child rapist whose property burnt down.

The interim order was secured by Start Mortgages DAC which claims that the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons and who the High Court heard on Tuesday is currently in jail, owes it over €400,000 arising out of his failure to repay loans.

The court heard that while the exact figure of the payment is not known, it estimates that it will be approximately €125,000.

Start says that those funds should be paid to it in order to satisfy the man's alleged debt to it.

The man received a 12-year prison sentence from the Central Criminal Court in 2014 after he was found guilty by a jury of charges including rape and the sexual assault of his ex-partner's young daughter.

The abuse commenced when the victim was aged seven years.

The man, who the court heard is understood to be currently in prison, denied the allegations.

On Tuesday, Ms Justice Nuala Butler at the High Court heard that several years before being jailed the man obtained a mortgage with Start for over €265,000 to obtain a property in the South-East.

A year later that property was destroyed following a fire.

The property was insured by Zurich Insurance, and on foot of the insurance policy it agreed to pay out over €222,000 for the reconstruction of the property.

Zurich paid out some €85,000 to the man's then lawyers as a first instalment.

Start claims that the man informed it that those monies were being kept in a safe place until planning permission was obtained to allow his property to be reconstructed.

The property, Start claims, was never rebuilt and planning permission for the reconstruction was never obtained.

Start claims that some of the monies that were paid out were used by the man for improper purposes. Start says that following correspondence with the man, he informed the fund that some €30,000 from the first instalment was paid by the man's former solicitors, without his consent, to clear arrears due on the mortgage.

Those monies, the court heard should have been used to refurbish the property.

Start said that it issued letters of demand against the man.

When the monies were not repaid it obtained a High Court judgement against him, prior to his imprisonment.

There was a delay in executing that judgement due to the lengthy interactions between the parties, that lasted several years, and the intervention of the Covid-19 pandemic, Start claimed.

Start intends to seek a renewal of that judgement, which it has made all reasonable efforts to execute, that was obtained over six years ago.

Start told the court heard that when interest is included the man currently owes it a sum of just over €402,000.

Start also told the court that following his incarceration it appointed a receiver who sold the man's property, which it said was a derelict shell, for a sum of just over €33,000.

Start claims that the man is due to receive the balance of the insurance pay from Zurich.

Start had hoped that the insurer would pay the monies to it.

However, Start says that Zurich's lawyers have indicated that the insurer is only prepared to pay the monies to the man's current solicitors.

Start had hoped that those monies would be kept in a holding, or escrow account until the matter between the parties had been resolved.

However, the man's current lawyers declined to do that.

Start claims that the man has no intention of honouring the terms of the mortgage, and it fears that the monies due to be paid by Zurich maybe dissipated unless a receiver is appointed over those funds.

It is not known exactly when those monies will be paid, however Start believes that the payment will be made in the coming days, and want a receiver appointed over the payment.

That application was made on an ex-parte basis, before Ms Justice Butler.

The judge said she was satisfied to appoint a receiver by way of equitable execution over the monies due to be paid by the insurer to the man, on a temporary basis only.

The judge said that she was not satisfied at this stage of the proceedings to make any permanent orders in relation to the payment until the court had heard from the man's legal representatives.

The matter was adjourned to a date in July.

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